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Carmack Working Ahead

Official Armadillo Q&A thread on the X-Prize Forums (thanks Redwood) features the id Software lead programmer outlining the status of his team of hobbyist rocketeers. Along the way he describes the balance of how he can divide his time between spaceflight and game design by admitting he's already working on some new tech for their next game:

Id vs Armadillo:
I am working on the rendering technology for the next game right now, so it looks like the balance will stay about the same for a while at least.

47 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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47. Re: Collapsible structures Jul 22, 2004, 08:56 CandyGramForMongo

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46. Re: Collapsible structures Jul 22, 2004, 00:32 anon@24.76
Im pretty sure Halflife will not have it.
Its just going to have physics toys like Max Payne 2.
Redfaction only let you destroy dirt, and not much of it. Buildings were still invincible.

Silent Storm, the isometric game, had some of the best building damage in a game that I have seen recently.
Your guys hear a german walking on the other side of a wall or on the floor above you, and your heavy mg'er can blast a hole right through killing him.
Or you could use heavy explosive to create shortcuts.

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45. Re: Collapsible structures Jul 21, 2004, 10:43 Gandhi
Here is one improvement that I'd like to see: collapsible structures

I think Valve's Source engine can do this. Did you see on of the tech demos that was released after last years E3? The one with the deformable terrain and camera effects?

I could be wrong, of course. But that tech demo impressed me more than all the eye-candy in Doom 3. Hopefully both games will be great, but I am betting Half Life 2 will have more immersive gameplay than Doom 3.

You cannot make anything fool-proof. The fools are too inventive
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44. Re: Collapsible structures Jul 21, 2004, 07:18 Soldat
Red Faction did it!

"When all is said and all is done...
What was said was never done"
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43. It's Alive! Jul 21, 2004, 06:36 Starsky

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42. Collapsible structures Jul 21, 2004, 06:27 Marauder
Here is one improvement that I'd like to see: collapsible structures.

I'm waiting for the game in which you can use a rocket launcher (or something like it) to blast holes into walls, pillars and other support structures in order to make the bricks of the structure collapse. Not just the loose entities, but the ENTIRE level should be subject to gravity, so you can find even more creative ways to play.

So, theoretically, you can start off in a lunar base or something, and if you have enough ammo, you can blast the entire thing to rubble so that you're left standing on a lunar surface with nothing but a weapon and a pile of subble in front of you.

That sort of physics engine can revolutionize the 3D shooter genre... for the first time you'll need actual architects with engineering knowledge to design the levels...

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41. Re: Engines Jul 21, 2004, 04:46 Socksta
Well I know this is just an opinion and wont' have any affect on you. But I do care about what John Carmack is doing even if it is 100% non gaming related. That man is the reason this website exists and the reason I read it everyday. And yeah...I am nuts.

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40. Re: Engines Jul 21, 2004, 03:13 vajbern

I bet the first time John Carmack saw the Unreal 3 tech demo he went straight to work; figuring out what he could do to improve beyond it.

It will be interesting to see what his next engine looks like, and how much better again it is.

I think striving for close to photo-realism is a good thing. I think that a point will come, very soon, where developers (and players) will be content with the graphics standard and just concentrate on improving the non-engine , fun parts of their games.

If you are capable of creating great graphics engines then why not do it? The shadows in DOOM 3 are supposed to add another dimension to multiplayer because your shadow can give you away. We'll have to wait a fortnight to see if that is the case.

Bring it on... in 13 days.

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39. Re: Engines Jul 21, 2004, 01:52 quazz
One more engine will should get us close enough to photo realistic that future developers will be able to spend more time working on AI, physics engines
That's not going to happen untill we have something actually close to photo-realistic, and we're [very] far from that. There will always be room for improvment and pretty graphics will keep selling more then a good game (if you had to choose between the two). If you want to compare it with movies, then movies with a lots of special effects make much more money then those that only have a good story. Give it atleast another ten years before we're close enough to photo realism to really start not having to bother about it. That, and I kinda doubt real breaktrough in AI will come from a game. No one would logically invest enough only in AI for such small benefit. Hopelly, what's created elsewhere will be implemented in games. I just see games making more of the same AI wise, only better (wich is far enough for games).

One more thing, we have already licensed engine that provide developpers with already complete graphics engine and they still all produce the same crap. They just take less time to do it.

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38. Re: Engines Jul 21, 2004, 00:18 LwoodPDowd
One more engine will should get us close enough to photo realistic that future developers will be able to spend more time working on AI, physics engines and whatnot rather than developing the engine, which will help improve the rest of the game playing experience. Minor upgrades will continue to occur of course, but at least for a while programmers will have better things to do with their time. This should also help the industry start standardizing the art (ie textures and shaders and set dressing models) that go into games. Set decoration shouldn't have to be built completely from scratch for every game. If the industry could get to the point where the quality of models and textures were similar I could see a company or two opening up as "prop companies" higher artists with no experience wanting to get into the industry to start building a library of beds, tables, desks, windows, (and for Old Man Murray fans, a wide variety of boxes), trees, grass, plants along with a variety of textures to fit them into any game you want. Let the game company spend their resources working on character development, in terms of model and animation as well as story.

I'm bored with typing, hopefully you see where I'm going with this. In Hollywood, they don't make every chair from scratch for each movie, why should a game company?
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37. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 22:28 Pete
John Carmack could shit in a box and sell it and many people here would extole it's virtues.

whats the specs on that box?

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36. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 21:53 nin
Whatever happened to gameplay?

Give me new gameplay!

I think that's why a lot of people rave about System Shock and the original DX. For the time, they were (and in some cases, still are) a breath of fresh air.

Because how many ways can you tell the story of: "lone soldier gets gun, saves world"? I agree, it does need some fresh air. But it's like trying to fix an AH-Nold or Stallone movie: eventually you end up coming back to the same old formula. Guns, explosions,'s the nature of the FPS.

John Carmack could shit in a box and sell it and many people here would extole it's virtues.

Well, yeah, if it looked like Doom3!

There is the theory of the moebius, a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop time becomes a loop time becomes a loop
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35. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 21:36 Ray Marden
You did ask about the engine and that is what I primarily discussed. If it was just about graphics, hell, we could just play a very pretty version of pong.

However, I do think the graphics help with the overall immersion. Once you reach a certain point of immersion, you "enter" the world in an abstract way and then equally good gameplay can create a great gaming experience for the player.

Gameplay does have quite a bit of growth to do. Certainly, the technical limitations have hurt it, but gameplay can grow leaps and bounds by increasing world interaction and focusing on more than just kill, kill, kill.

#$!#$!#$@ hating these #$!#$@ cheap %$@$%%3 Final Doom $@$##$ levels,

DOOM 3!!!11
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34. Re: Good Jul 20, 2004, 21:28 quazz
its a good point of course. given what Valve is doing with Source versions of counter-strike, half-life, day-of-defeat and TFC
They're not doing it out of kindness you know... Fortunately, there's still the community, but good mods are few and far between.

Splinter Cell was pretty linear. So was Far Cry (there goes that "you're free to d whatever on the Island" hype crap). And I can't remember that much freedom in Deus Ex either (sure, it may still be one of the est example, but it's very limited). A few mission in the Hitman series gave you a sense of freedom in the city, but it never had the physic engine to back it up.

Either way, we're still far from a complete, 'living' city.
By the way, 5000 vs 5000 NPC's battle is uterly pointless gameplay wise. You'll never interact with more then a hundred of them and we can already do 100vs100 fight (of course, it currently means scaling back graphics).

This comment was edited on Jul 20, 21:35.
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33. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 21:26 Inkswitch
Exactly, Gdiguy. THOSE are the things I want to see.

Instead, we get shadows, and muscle rippling.


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32. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 21:19 Gdiguy
The next step is probably (hopefully?) going further in the direction of Deux Ex/Splinter Cell's ability to use/manipulate the environment, rather than just having pretty graphics... I remain increadibly impressed by Splinter Cell, even the xbox version (not in strict graphical terms, but in the ability to climb/jump to/explore everything)

On the other hand, while Doom3/etc are impressive, I'm still waiting for that kind of clarity on a much larger scale, so we can actually have WW2 games that actually have 5,000 people on each side fighting each other with the graphics of MOH/etc...

/continues dreaming

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31. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 21:16 Inkswitch
Whatever happened to gameplay?

To be honest, photo-realism doesn't interest me at all. I don't care to see realistic gaping wounds in what I am shooting. Maybe we can add more reality in war games. More AI should cry for their mommy when I shoot them. Maybe they should start pleading with us that they have children at home before we blow their realistic heads off. Realistically, of course.

John Carmack could shit in a box and sell it and many people here would extole it's virtues.

Give me new gameplay!

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30. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 20:43 neko_
If you have an xbox, try playing "chronicles of riddick". excellent implementation of the FPS genre, marrying great tech with a great story/gameplay

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29. Re: Engines Jul 20, 2004, 20:32 WetEngine
I of course realize that we don't yet have total visual realism down to the atomic level...I guess what I was trying to say was that I wonder what more and more visual realism past this point is really going to add to the experience of FPS games (I was talking about these specifically). I don't have any opinion about this, just thinking out loud as it were, but is thirty different kinds of colored light playing across the shimmering surfaces of the translucent wings of the 2000k-model dancing fairy you are shotgunning in the rain while its soft shadow exactly follows the contours of a bump-mapped stone wall going to make the FPS game you're playing any more fun really? (Although blasting chunks out of the fairy might be kind of a kick.) At the end of the day, even in Doom 3, you're moving around shooting things, picking stuff up, shooting more stuff. Then shooting. Some more. That's what we love about FPS games, and the fundamental gameplay hasn't changed much since the first Doom (nor would we want it to). Now we're doing it in the shadows with lights swinging around and stuff, which is really cool of course, but what is more and more of such visual stuff really going to add to FPS games specifically?

Immersion I guess, but playing the old Doom lately, after not looking at it for years, I've been amazed by how much fun and how immersive it still is, in all its 320 x 200 glory. There's such a perfect simplicity in it. There's nothing to think about, and there is so much to kill, so I in to some lizard-brained reflex-universe of DOOM. It's a lot more pure fun (for me) than something like Far Cry is, even with the rippling water and everything.

Ah well, so it has to come down to immersion I guess; the gurgling demons coming out of the shadows during our inexorable slog to to the holodeck. It's funny though, I think I felt more "immersed" the first time I played Doom on a 486 in the dark than I have in all the games that have followed (although I have to say that Silent Hill 2 and 3 creeped me out pretty effectively--largely due to the lighting). Maybe Doom 3 is going to change that, but maybe we will always be looking for something to help us recover that feeling we had the first time we saw something on our screens that amazed us (and this gets harder and harder to find)--so I guess bring on the colored light and volumetric smoke and pixel-shader mirrors. I like going to Fry's anyway.

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28. Re: No subject Jul 20, 2004, 20:19 jccalhoun
Yes, Carmack has previously said he was tired of the work load and looking towards moving on once Doom 3 came out.

Hopefully he's changed his mind.

Well, this is the guy who brought a workstation on his honeymoon. I have a hard time imagining him ever giving up programming for good.

Carmack's a flip-flopper! You can't tell where he is on the issues!
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47 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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